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Mistral Headed to Westlake & 8th

By June 4, 2009


I never made it to Mistral. Maybe I’ll make it to its new incarnation MistralKitchen headed to “West 8th”:

Hi, Matt. Here’s some news on a hot new restaurant coming to West 8th, a soon-to-be-completed office tower in downtown Seattle.

As you’ll see from the release below, the chef, William Belickis, has quite a following in the Seattle area, having once led the immensely popular Restaurant Mistral in Belltown and trained in New York City at a restaurant that for years was rated by Foder’s as America’s best.

The interior desgin/layout of MistralKitchen will be unique with its open plan, multiple kitchens and, as project architect Tom Kundig puts it, “separate-but-cohesive zones that allow the restaurant to draw from a broad culinary palette.”

Also of note is the area of town where MistralKitchen and West 8th are located — the north CBD, where developer Touchstone and chef Belickis believe the city’s energy has already begun to flow, with its wave of recent development (commercial, residential, retail and healthcare/biotech).

Click through for the full press release.

MistralKitchen Coming to West 8th Office Tower

Touchstone signs MistralKitchen, celebrated chef William Belickis, to ground-floor lease at 28-story West 8th project; new upscale restaurant designed by Tom Kundig of Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects a valuable addition to Seattle’s burgeoning North CBD neighborhood

SEATTLE (June 4, 2009) – Touchstone Corp. announced today it has signed MistralKitchen to a long-term lease at its West 8th project in Seattle’s North Central Business District (CBD). The 5,000-square-foot restaurant, owned and operated by world-renowned executive chef William Belickis, will open this fall on the street level of the West 8th building.

“MistralKitchen represents the perfect addition to the comprehensive tenant-amenities package we’re creating here at West 8th,” said Touchstone President Douglas Howe. The 500,000-square-foot office tower will be completed this spring.

Howe added, “Having a premium restaurant like MistralKitchen in the building is a real value-added benefit to West 8th office tenants.” MistralKitchen is located at 2020 Westlake Ave.

West 8th is located in Seattle’s emerging North CBD neighborhood, at the intersection of 8th Avenue and Virginia and Westlake streets. The project is situated a short walk from South Lake Union and in the middle of Seattle’s central shopping area, which includes Nordstrom, Macy’s, Pacific Place and many other upscale retail offerings. West 8th also provides tenants with convenient access to the Federal Courthouse Building, Interstate-5, the Monorail, Metro bus routes, the Seattle Streetcar and other major transportation options.
In recent years, the neighborhood has been the focus of new real estate-development activity, with several new luxury-housing projects now complete or slated to be finished soon. In addition, organizations in the fields of healthcare, education and arts — such as the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the University of Washington School of Medicine and Cornish College of the Arts, to name just a few —- have also moved to Seattle’s North CBD neighborhood.
“After several months touring every possible location, we’ve landed in what we consider the new heart of downtown Seattle, which was extremely important to our culinary and business mission,” said William Belickis, a world-class chef who most recently owned the fine-dining Restaurant Mistral in the Belltown neighborhood.
“The city’s center is literally moving north, to this neighborhood, so it’s the perfect location in terms of existing business clientele and individuals wanting to be part of the connected urban lifestyle,” continued Belickis. He added that the restaurant will offer something for everyone, whether guests are “meeting friends for drinks and shared plates, celebrating an anniversary or coming to have the meal of a lifetime.”
The interior space at MistralKitchen, which will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, has been designed by internationally acclaimed architect Tom Kundig of Seattle-based firm Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects. MistralKitchen will be divided into separate-but-cohesive zones that allow the restaurant to draw from a broad culinary palette.
“William is a true creative and it’s always exciting to work with people like that. They push you in new directions. For William’s space, the architecture and the finishes are background to the extraordinary cuisine,” said Tom Kundig.

The restaurant is organized around the kitchens — including the chef’s kitchen at the point of the triangular-shaped room, the other kitchens, and the bar along the long side — to allow for the greatest potential for interaction between cooks and guests. Guests can sit and enjoy the meal, or walk up and watch how their food is being prepared. Materials include raw steel, exposed concrete floors, and stained mdf.

At 510,000 square feet overall, West 8th offers 490,000 square feet of commercial-office space, 18,000 square feet of retail, a 12,000-square-foot childcare facility and seven levels of parking – five below grade and two above. The unique position of the site lends itself to territorial views at every office level.
West 8th is the first office tower in the City of Seattle to earn the US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED-CSâ„¢ Gold pre-certification. According to Diane Sugimura, the Director of the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, West 8th, raises the bar for high-performance buildings, and “offers the value of sustainable office design that tenants are now asking for. The building’s optimized energy performance alone brings multiple benefits such as lower utility costs for tenants and reduced greenhouse gas emissions,” she stated.

West 8th Project Team

Developer: Touchstone Corporation

Leasing: Pacific Real Estate Partners (for leasing, call Bill Pollard at 206-971-7009)

Architect: Callison

Contractor: Lease Crutcher Lewis

MistralKitchen Architect: Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects

About Touchstone Corporation

Touchstone Corporation is a Seattle-based regional commercial real estate development company whose primary project types include commercial office, technology office and biotechnology R & D office buildings. Touchstone also develops build-to-suit office and retail projects, hotels, as well as mixed-used developments. For more information, call 206-727-2393 or visit www.touchstonecorp.com.

About MistralKitchen

Located in downtown Seattle on Westlake Avenue, MistralKitchen is the second venture of Seattle chef and restaurateur William Belickis. The restaurant is a unique addition to the Seattle dining scene, as it draws from an unusually broad culinary palette. The open kitchen includes an Italian wood-fired oven, an Indian tandoor, and a food lab devoted to avant-garde cuisine and the “science of delicious.” Belickis designed MistralKitchen for a diverse clientele — from the after work crowd looking for a quick drink and tasty snack to the group of diners hoping to make a memory that will last a lifetime.

About Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects

Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects is a Seattle-based architectural firm. With projects ranging from huts to high-rises, the firm’s work is found throughout North America, and in Asia and Europe. The firm is the recipient of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2009 Architecture Firm Award, the highest honor awarded to an architectural practice by the AIA. Current and recently completed projects include residences in the US and abroad, the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle, the Noah’s Ark Exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, 1900 First Avenue Hotel and Apartments in Seattle, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts in Ketchum, Idaho, and the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington—slated to be the first LEED Silver Accredited museum in Washington State when it opens later this year. Tom Kundig’s recent recognition includes a 2008 National Design Award from The Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, a 2007 Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and numerous design awards. A selection of his work can be found in the book, Tom Kundig: Houses, published by Princeton Architectural Press.

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